Archive for July, 2013

Shining a Light on Women in Sustainability

Contributed by Dr. Sarah

Are you a woman in sustainability? Or perhaps you’d like your daughter to become one? Meet Susan McPherson who wants to shine a light on women’s contributions to the field of environmental sustainability.

I recently hosted a Spheres of Influence Virtual Roundtable in which Susan McPherson, Senior VP at Fenton Communications, who wants to support girls and women in bringing their talents to bear on solving the big and pressing problems we face as a society.

Andrea Learned, an expert on women’s marketing, social media maven and sustainability consultant, joined us for the conversation and posted a blog on CSRWire.

Here is an excerpt from her thought-provoking blog post from CSRWire:

“[McPherson notes that u]p until the past few years, many sustainability leaders were men who came to those positions along an engineering path. Communications has been a hard sell.

‘What we’ve seen in the last 10 or 15 years are communications and philanthropic endeavors that have now also been mixed into the sustainability world. This has opened up the pool to bring a lot more women into the field coming at it from a different direction,’ she said.

McPherson also suggested that the strengths and capabilities ‘more typical of the nature of women,’ that we can be more collaborative and empathetic, for example, are ‘just the traits we need to get [Corporate Social Responsibility] initiatives built across a company.’

Those interested in a sustainability career should definitely “be proud of being a good communicator,” she recommended citing research from Zenger Folkman (2012), which found having more women at senior levels of management, who have both communications strengths and the drive for results, improves the overall effectiveness of a leadership team.
So, how can we support and guide more women into sustainability leadership positions?

‘We really need to shine a light on the women who are coming at this field from the engineering and environmental side.’ Today’s girls and young women need to clearly see themselves in sustainability’s many exciting business roles, from the engineering lab to the C-suite.’

– See more at:

What do you think women have to offer in the field of sustainability? Do you know a woman leader in sustainability who serves as a great leadership role model? Post a comment!

Want career advice? Schedule an appointment for a career coaching consultation with Dr. Sarah at (312) 595-1691.

July 28, 2013 at 2:54 am Leave a comment

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